I wrote previously about slowing down in general, being one who naturally ‘adds things in’ to the schedule and ends up rushing about.  A lot.

I ‘ve been experimenting recently, applying this to my training sessions.

Because I know the content and concepts so well, and because I’m working with very bright people, I tend to make assumptions.  I assume that they will get things really quickly.  And that I don’t need to repeat stuff.  I’m always afraid they’ll be bored if I ‘labour the point’.   Or they will think I’m being patronising.

When I was doing an Assertiveness skills recently with a small group I decided to slow right down.  When I gave out a handout with the details on Passive, Aggressive and Assertive behaviour – which is a great resource with tons of useful information –  I experimented with getting them to work on it in pairs. I asked them to actually read it out to each other and then to ‘teach ‘one style to the rest of the group.    Normally I’d just give it out and either tell them it’s a great resource and suggest they look at it later, or get them to briefly look at it and ask any questions about it. IMG_2865

This added about an hour to the session by the time we’d finished the activity.  The feedback was great and I could see that they had really understood the basic underlying beliefs/payoffs for each of the behaviours.    They hadn’t felt patronised.  And they weren’t bored.  Hooray.

Happy sheets usually give a positive message about the sessions but that day I knew in my bones that a good job had been done.

So – slower with the concepts… Adding time in for them to read/discuss/absorb and question.  It made a difference and i’ve been applying it where I can, since.


Land not in sight at all… any time soon

I don’t know what got into me, but I was seized by a compelling need to apply for a place in the ARC ..Atlantic Challenge Race. An opportunity offered by work.

What gripped me was the challenge itself. How could I possibly spend what will amount to about 4 weeks in a confined space with 15 relative strangers? How would I learn to sail? What on earth was I thinking of to even step up? How would I cope with seasicknesses? Can I climb a mast? Will I have to?

That was over 6 months ago. I won my place on the Challenger 1. And now we’re going. Very soon. in five days.

My feelings are so mixed. Elation, excitement, nervousness. Also the sadness of leaving Stephen and Caspar for so long.

I keep remembering the quote that got me (from David Frost) “If you resist a challenge, something inside you ossifies …..” I knew that I wanted to be on that boat, having that experience, and I knew that I didn’t want to get any more ossified. I have become a little stuck in my comfort zone. I know that real learning happens outside of that. So here I am, about to walk the plank into the unknown. I am depending on the kindness and generosity of my crewmates, and I intend to be kind and compassionate to myself and to them. I know at times we’ll get scratchy if not worse, particularly when we’re tired. But I also know that there will be time to get to know these people and even more frightening, to allow them to get to know me.

Wish me luck.

Slowing up

This morning I used an App devised by a wise friend, Stephanie Harrison, on Life Guidance.

It works a bit like Angel Cards… but in much more depth.

My reading was about slowing down.  Stopping rushing.  Not being a perfectionist and not trying to squeeze every last bit of juice from the day.

Needless to say I didn’t like it.  I recognised myself – as a serial rusher arounder with real problems relaxing.

So having made a grudging mental nod in the direction of the Universe for being so perspicacious, I rushed off to my Pilates class.

Lying in a position and trying to get my spine into Neutral, I asked for help as I wasn’t sure I had got it right.  The teacher was horrified that I had managed to come to a fair few classes without understanding this basic precept of Pilates.   And she told me that I was going far too fast.  That i needed to slow down in order to feel how my body was processing the various exercises, which work to isolate and work key muscles and muscle groups.

I did manage a wry smile.  Thanks Universe.

This is also a lession I’ve been applying in my training.,  More later.

Coaching in Bed

not about this post, just a pretty picture

not about this post, just a pretty picture

On dealing with irritation and resentment…..

I’ve been having some problems lately, dealing with my feelings about a colleague. I’ve been finding them (my feelings about the person) increasingly annoying and irritating.

So this morning, this person’s last ‘outrage’ on my mind, (not, of course) I woke up at 5.30 mentally churning. I got up to feed the Cat and resolved that I needed to do something.

I needed to talk, or write, or both, and I needed to meditate. I really wanted to move on – and it being a Bank Holiday I had some precious time.

As an Extrovert I process best by conversation.  So I asked long-suffering, sleepy husband if he could help.  Given the circumstances he was  only slightly grumpy .  I asked him to act like one of my female friends and ‘listen til his ears bleed’ (our joke…a chat up strategy I learned from a former boyfriend).   I asked him above all not to do that Male thing (sorry any male readers) and not to offer solutions. He agreed if I promised to let him to sleep afterwards. Poor, long-suffering man.  So I went and sat  on the bed,  and just vented.

I started out with some semblance of order but in the end it became a jumble of emotion and resentment. I went on for what felt like half an hour. In reality it was probably only 3 minutes. Poor husband duly listened from under the quilt and then turned over and said .  ‘I have 3 questions for you’ :

Firstly, what about that person is mirroring something in you? (Arrgggh)

Secondly, what would a Leader do? (Double arggh)

Thirdly, what would you do if you really loved that person and wanted the best for them?

Full marks to Sleepy But Disgustingly Wise Husband. Readers who are still awake might have noticed that he didn’t really stick to the brief.   My friends would have been sympathetic and told me how dreadful it all was. But he did allow me space to vent in a most unattractive way, then with those wise coaching questions, got me to another mental space.

I’ve now got lots to think about. But as usual, it’s about me.. what I CAN control is me and that’s pretty much the only thing. The rest I need to let go of. So it’s now 2 hours later and I’ve meditated, started the process of Letting Go, and working on my feelings about this person. And written this blog post.

PS husband still asleep

PPS I can feel another post about mirroring coming on

what cats can teach us



i have a long-beloved cat, Caspar who has taught me a great deal

One of the main lessons he has taught me is about getting your needs met.

My husband wrote a short book (12 little lessons)

Click to access 12LittleLessonsbook.pdf

where he used the Oxygen mask analogy that now seems to be very commonly known.   You know, the one about making sure you have got your own Oxygen mask on before you attempt to help anyone else.

Caspar exemplifies a creature who is quite clear what he needs and is definitely going to do all he can to make sure that happens.

He needs food.  He comes and finds us wherever we are and is very vocal.  If we’re responsive, he leads us to his dish and gives us that expectant look.

He needs a cuddle.  He will jump up on the bed or the sofa and find a warm lap.

He needs to go outside.   But he doesn’t want to use his catflap.  He will get our attention and then lead us to the front door and look expectantly at the door until we open it.

The really transformational think about this for me is that I’ve always struggled with a bit of residual guilt about the concept of putting yourself First, and making sure your needs are met.  It could be a hangover from my upbringing or conditioning as a female

But Caspar is not only nakedly pushy about getting what he wants from us.  But – here is the key – if it doesn’t work, he doesn’t sulk.  He doesn’t flounce.   He doesn’t rail.  he just goes and does something else.  Mainly sleeps

more from the wise Cat in due course, no doubt.